On April 27, 2023, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion held its Second Annual Fundraiser Luncheon “Stronger Together” at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. We were grateful to be joined by 250 guests, representing large and small law firms across the state, Utah’s courts, and other organizations. We were especially grateful to be joined by this year’s Event Sponsor, Kirton McConkie, and the four Scholarship Sponsors: Kirkland & Ellis, Parsons Behle & Latimer, Ray Quinney & Nebeker, and Foley & Lardner. It was wonderful to be together in person as members of the legal community and to hear from the keynote speaker Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean of the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, and from Justice Christine M. Durham, former Justice and Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court and former co-chair of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, as well as from many other excellent speakers.
Program hosts Melinda Bowen and Kristen Olsen welcomed participants to the event, and introduced the speakers. First we heard from Tyler Buswell, who was representing the Event Sponsor, Kirton McConkie. Then we heard from Valeria Jimenez, a 2022 recipient of UCLI’s LSAT Preparation Scholarship and the former Public Outreach Coordinator at the Utah State Courts’ Office of Fairness and Accountability. Next we heard from KC Decker, a 2L at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and a recipient of the 2022 Utah Legal Inclusion Fellowship – an opportunity sponsored by Intermountain Health and Kirton McConkie. After KC, we heard from Breeze Parker, a 2L at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School and a 2022-23 Justice Christine M. Durham Fellow. This Fellowship was announced at last year’s luncheon and funded through the generosity of attendees. Finally we hear from Zachary Scott Roemer, an associate at Kirkland & Ellis, and the co-chair of UCLI’s Tracking Progress Committee and K-12 Outreach Committee. Each of them shared personal experiences about their unique backgrounds and journeys to and through law school.
Next, attendees were present for the debut of the newly published UCLI First Generation Outreach Video, featuring incredible first-generation students who are now a part of the legal community in Utah. You may view it here.
Guests then heard from the keynote speaker, Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner– the Jefferson B. & Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean and Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She presented an incisive address on the way that Utah attorneys can aid in combating racism in our state. You may view a recording of her keynote address or find the slides here.
Justice Christine Durham, who served as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court from 1982 to 2017 and as Chief Justice from 2002 to 2012, gave a brief address after this – sharing her perspective about why UCLI’s efforts matter and encouraging attendees to give generously. For anyone who was unable to donate at the event, you may donate here now.
The Luncheon also featured a silent auction with twenty five items, including Tuacahn tickets, a private art class by Leslie Debry, and a private dinner by Chef Arturo Thompson. Many people took home these special offerings and we are very grateful for the kind support of everyone who donated items and all those who bid on them.
We are deeply grateful to the many individuals who chose to donate at this event, and to the Florence J. Gillmor Foundation, who pledged to commit a matching grant to UCLI in the amount of the donations that were received at the Luncheon. Altogether, UCLI raised over $11,000 in individual donations, truly showing that we are stronger together and that our collective efforts can make a powerful difference. Attendees also had the opportunity to honor someone who has made a difference in their lives and to donate on their behalf; these names were submitted and displayed on screen and represented mentors, friends, loved ones, grandchildren, grandparents, or someone who helped them feel like they belonged in the legal profession. You can see the beautiful collection of inspirational people below.
The silent auction proceeds, individual donations, and sponsorship proceeds will contribute to the UCLI programming that benefits current and future lawyers in our state. UCLI is grateful to all the guests that attended, spoke, and donated at this year’s luncheon, and looks forward to future events and the progress that will continue to be made toward change, justice, and equal representation within the legal profession in Utah.
Thank you to our Event Sponsor
Thank you to our Scholarship Sponsors:
Kirkland & Ellis
Ray Quinney & Nebeker
Foley & Lardner
Thank you to our Table Sponsors:
Strong & Hanni
University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law
Utah State Bar
Snell & Wilmer
Dorsey & Whitney
Holland & Hart